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Practical Leadership

UNANSWERED PRAYER?

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Prayer does mighty things. It does not change God's intentions. Although it may change His action by opening the way for His love through our repentance as well as our sincere obedience and faith. Let God say, give and do through us what He wills. Why fight it, He is God and you are not, guess who will win!

"THE PROBLEM OF UNANSWERED PRAYER"

Learning to focus on God's promises and not our expectations.

"Have faith in God... Whatever you ask for in prayer. believe that you have received it and it will be yours." Mark 11:22-25 (N1V)

How do we understand this in the light of unanswered prayer'? Some reflections:

A. The promise is breathtaking but the application has some limitations.

1. Such faith doesn't mean all prayers are answered. That would mean chaos.

2. Not faith in human faith. Our trust is to be "in God." not in the 'strength' of our faith.

3. Not faith in our prayers. Jesus teaches we are not heard for our many words (Mt. 6: 7-8).

4. Though prayer God enables us to believe. ask. and receive more than is humanly possible.

5. Faith involves risk. It ventures. (Mark 1: 14-20; John 11: 14-16; Phil. 1: 19-21. 29-30 etc..).

6. Our trust is to be in the trustworthiness of our faithful heavenly Father.

7. God reigns. Jesus. the Messiah will enter into his Kingdom. His followers may stake their lives on that (Mark 14: 61-62; Eph. 1:15; 23; Phil. 2: 9-1; etc..).

8. Then we are to be about his business through believing prayer and bold obedient action. "Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God" (William Carey).

B. Prayer can be answered several ways

YES- as a parent delighted to please the child (Luke 11: 9-13).

NO- for the sake of the child and the highest good for all.

NOT 'YET - need to learn more be mature enough to handle the answer properly.

A BETTER WAY - the Father's answer to Jesus was the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14: 33-36; Phil. 2: 5-11; to Paul. II Cor.12: 7-10).

C. The context of Mark. 11: 20-25

1. The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (vs. 1-10).

2. His temple experience - a foretaste of His rejection and crucifixion.

  • Israel-the barren fig tree soon to be cursed (vs. 20-21; Mark 13: 1-2).
  • His sorrow and grief (Luke 19: 41).
  • The coming failure, doubt and despair of the disciples (Mark 15: 50.72).

3. His disciples will also meet opposition and persecution.

  • They may not see all their hopes and prayers realized (John 15: 18-21; Heb. 11: 39).
  • Faith's perspective goes beyond space and time (Heb. 11: 1-39).

4. Ultimately God will grant us far more than we can ask (John 14: 1-3; IICor. 4: 17; Eph. 3: 20-21; I Pet. 4: 13; John 3: 1-3; Rev. 21: 3-4.22: 3-5).

5. Our trust is to be in God at all times and in all situations (Mark 4: 35-41.6: 35-43; II Cor. 1: 9-10; I Thes. 5: 23-24; I Pet. 4: 12-13; Phil.1: 12-2:18).

6. Remember God's primary purpose for us in Christ (John 14: 1.17: 24; Ro. 8: 28-29; Eph. 4: 15-16).

  • To be with Christ. like Him for Him forever (I Pet. 1: 3-9; I John 3: 1-3).

D. Conditions for answered prayer.

We need to be asking:

1. According to the will of God (II Chron. 7: 14; Jer. 29: 13: John 9: 31. 15: 7; I John 3: 22.5: 14-15).

  • Obey His commands. Do what pleases Him (I John 3: 22).

2. With a sincere and genuine heart (Ps. 145: 18).

3. With a forgiving heart free from resentment and with love (Mark 11:

24-25).

4. With right marital relationships (I Pet. 3: 1-7).

  • Being right with others (Mt. 5: 21-26; Col. 3: 12-15).

5. With confidence in God's goodness rather than a complaining attitude

(Ps. 37: 5-7).

6. With Divine deliverance from Satanic opposition (Dan. 10: 12-13; Eph. 6: 10-20).

7. With right motive. In the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ and the glory of the Father (John 14: 12-14. 10: 23-24).

8. With faith - personal trust in God's trustworthiness.

Let go. Let God handle it. Let Him be in control (Mark 11: 22-25; Luke 23: 46; Heb. 11: 6).

E. God's primary eternal purpose will take precedence over our secondary desires, even of His love.

1. Abraham (Ro. 4: 16-22).

2. Jacob (Gen. 32: 22-32˜˜).

3. Daniel (Dan. 9: 1-3.20-23).

4. Job (Job 42: 1-6).

5. Jesus (Mark 14: 33-36; Phil. 2: 5-11).

6. Paul (II Cor. 1: 9-10; Phil. 1:12-2:18).

7. Peter (I Pet. 4: 12-13).

8. You

F. The prayer of faith; in the Object not the Subject in God!
  • At times the gift of an inner witness of assurance (Mark 11: 24).

Prayer does mighty things. It does not change God's intentions. Although it may change His action by opening the way for His love through our repentance as well as our sincere obedience and faith. Let God say, give and do through us what He wills. Why fight it, He is God and you are not, guess who will win!

© 1986, From the lecture notes of Rchard J. Krejcir & Robert B. Munger, Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.org

© 2007 - 2018 Institute of Church Leadership Development - All Rights Reserved.
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